Friday, February 24, 2012

President's Day

Gerald Ford
  Since it was President's Day and in honoring the birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, both born in February, it's timely to blog on the subject of photographing the Commander in Chief.
George H.W. Bush
   Photographing the President of the United States is one of the most challenging assignments. Politics aside, democrat or republican, to be a few feet from the most powerful man on the planet is not something that I take lightly.
   While I consider it an honor, it's not an easy event to cover. There is the endless standing around and waiting.
Cameras are checked and rechecked by
the secret service.
Bill Clinton
      There are metal detectors to pass
George W. Bush
through. Then you have to hold your ground on a platform along with other media types as they jockey for position.
   But once the president is announced and they play 'Hail to the Chief' I get tunnel vision as I focus on the president and fire off frames.
   I never turn down a chance to see
the president knowing that I am covering history in the making.

   While I waited in line to pass through the metal detectors to see President Reagan speak at the Great Valley Corporate Center, a bubbly woman handed her camera to an F.B.I. agent to be inspected. She excitedly told him, "I can't wait to shoot the president!" Without skipping a beat the agent looked up and in a monotone voice said, "Ma'am never say shoot the president."
    She blushed and walked quietly to her seat.

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